What is Naturopathy?
Naturopathy is a system of medicine that uses various natural remedies such as herbal therapy, massage, acupuncture, counselling, dietary advice and other specific therapies to enhance the natural healing process. This system of treatment originated in Germany. It focuses on improving the health of the entire person rather than providing a remedy for a specific symptom or illness.
What are the Principles of Naturopathy?
The Naturopathy system of medicine is based on the following principles:
- It allows your body to naturally heal itself by eliminating obstacles causing disease.
- It does not treat symptoms but the causes of disease.
- Treatments address the overall health including the mind and body.
Who is a Naturopath?
A naturopath is a one who practices naturopathy. He or she may have a medical degree in naturopathy, may be a traditional naturopath with years of experience or may be a physician with special training in naturopathy.
Conditions Treated by Naturopathy
Various conditions treated by naturopathy include:
- Fertility problems
- Hormonal imbalance
- Different types of pain etc
- Improve overall health
Administration of Naturopathy
Your naturopath will seek detailed information on your medical history, daily activities, diet and lifestyle to assess your physical and mental health. Certain laboratory tests may be ordered to diagnose a health condition. A specific treatment plan is designed to help you heal and improve your overall health. It may be necessary to change your lifestyle to treat the disease as well as prevent the disease in future.
Naturopathy may involve a combination of the following therapies:
The medicines prepared from one or more parts of a plant are called herbal medicines or phytomedicines. They are known to cure many diseases without causing side-effects. They are usually prepared as a pill. You may be given herbs to boil with water and drink its tea. Certain herbal medicines are applied to skin or added to bath water.
Acupuncture has been practised for thousands of years. It originated in China and involves the insertion of thin needles to specific areas of the body called pressure points. It can relax your body, balance your energy and enhance the healing process.
Use of natural or organic foods in your diet. Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, sprouts, coconut water, wheatgrass juice etc. are suggested.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
It is recommended to meet your vitamin needs through a healthy diet, but you may be given vitamin and mineral supplements for a specific duration to treat certain conditions e.g. anxiety-related disorders are treated with Vitamin B and Magnesium.
Fasting is an effective way of eliminating toxins responsible for many disorders of the mind and body.
Various types of baths are known to cure many diseases. Hip bath, hot foot bath, steam bath, spinal bath are some examples of hydrotherapy. Use of hot and cold packs is another type of hydrotherapy.
Clean mud is used in the form of mud packs for its therapeutic benefits. It can be used to treat skin conditions, constipation, high blood pressure and headaches. A mud bath may also be suggested.
A well-known therapy involving the use of oils to massage the whole body. It improves blood circulation, strengthens tissues and improves the functioning of organs.
Stress and emotional difficulties can affect your capacity to heal. A naturopath can provide counselling to improve your mental health and outlook on life.